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Does an appendectomy cause any side effects?

Q: My 22 years old son, a healthy active college athlete, had an emergency appendectomy 5 weeks ago. He returned to the hospital 3 days after the initial laparoscopy for abscess draining through the rectum. He returned 3 days after that for abscess draining with needle in pelvic area. He has been experiencing periodic pain while urinating and a considerable lack of energy. He also experiences pain in his stomach occasionally. He also has discomfort with bowel movement. Are these normal post-operative side effects, or should we have him checked?

A:Appendicitis is an illness associated with severe infection. Even after removal of the appendix, infection may remain in the surrounding areas. This infection may form pus that needs aspiration by a needle, inserted through the abdominal wall or through the rectum. Such pus collections occur in 1-2% of patients after appendicitis, and probably reflect a more severe illness. My suggestion would be to wait and watch. If your doctor supports it, go in for a CT scan.

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